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Mum / MIL doing child care when I go back to work

(62 Posts)
Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Sun 20-Jan-13 22:00:22

I'm due to return to work in a cople of months (part time mon-weds) DS will be just 3 and DD will be 11 months. DS goes to nursery 2 days a week and this will bump up to 3 days and DD will start at the same nursery 3 days a week too.

Well that was the plan but we are now considering a radical alternative! MIL is looking likely to be made redundant with no other viable job options. We had the thought that she could come down to stay with us (they are a 2.5 hour drive away) sun night to weds afternoon and look afterthe kids. We would pay her something like what we save in nursery fees which would be a help to DHs parents financially and the main benefit for us would be we wouldn't have to put Dd in nursery when I go back to work - despite the nursery nearby being outstanding ofsted and well regarded locally, we aren't over impressed with it and DS doesn't seem particularly happy there.  We'd prob try to get DS into a preschool but for less hours than he would otherwise do at nursery.

Is anyone else in such an arrangement and can comment on how it works for you?  Is it a real strain not having time to yourselves with DP in the evenings?  That's my main concern.  Also is it awkward or difficult to get your mums / MIL to look after your kids as you want her to?  Any other negatives I haven't thought of?  I have to say I'm cautiously keen as I can foresee lots of other advantages like being able to have the odd night out and not having to miss work if the kids are unwell! 

Thanks for any insights!

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 14:02:56

It's worth checking doit. You can be self-employed and employed, so just because you're self-employed for other reasons doesn't mean you don't need to be employed for some jobs. The fine would come to you, not your DM.

'How would anybody know though?'

They probably wouldn't. Although apparently they are having a crack down, here.

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 14:07:03

I will mention it her! She is filing her latest tax return as we speak!

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 14:07:56

We certainly don't want to evade tax or get it wrong....quite the opposite!

sunnyday123 Mon 21-Jan-13 14:10:16

I understand nannies as they are not family but many family members child mind for free anyway so can't imagine it could ever be proved that a gp was being paid?

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 14:11:55

I'm sure you're fine, it does say on the HMRC link that it's a special situation because it's family and you need to contact them to find out what to do, it's not like you've got a wrongly self-employed nanny, which would definitely be against the rules.

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 14:13:57

I'm sure you're right sunny we just have to trust people not to tax evade!

Although if a grandparent is being paid nursery fees e.g. £500 a week, they must be putting it somewhere even if they're being paid cash.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 21-Jan-13 16:02:34

never use friends or family for childcare - it 99% ends in tears/mum gets pissed off that granny is doing things differently etc and in that arrangement the mum isnt self employed, she is employed

Dozer Mon 21-Jan-13 16:39:21

If you do it legally and above board re tax it will be as expensive as a nanny, if not even more (since you will be paying for her travel too). So probably prohibitive.

If you do it under the table and are caught, you, as the employer, will be liable for big trouble and fines from HMRC. And possibly also in trouble at work (eg if you work in a senior role where you have to have high standards etc - have heard of people fired for tax evasion).

But am sure people take the risk and do this, I know a couple.

Nannies in roles like this are NOT self-employed for tax purposes. It'd be lovely not to have to pay tax, but it doesn't work like that!

Mandy21 Mon 21-Jan-13 22:52:42

We did this with my mum when I first went back to work when my twins were 14 months - I was working 3 days. It was similar in that she lived 2.5hrs away, but she stayed in a hotel about 100m down the road. We paid for all her travel and her hotel accommodation, and some nominal expenses and it did work out about the same as we'd pay a nursery. BUT - they were looked after by their grandma, got the love and attention that they'd get from a grandma, so the fact that I might have saved a few pounds if they'd gone to nursery and I could have used childcare vouchers was not really a consideration.

She would often eat with us and not go back to the hotel until later in the evening, so she was around, and yes, there were occasions when I just wanted to slob in my PJs and eat popcorn (rather than feel obliged to wash up - etc - keep up with her high domestic goodess standards!) but we had an end date agreed right from the start - she was doing it for 10 months and the twins would start at nursery. If she was ever ill (can't remember that she was) my H or I just took leave.

They didn't miss out with any interaction etc - she took them to a multitude of classes / toddler groups etc (all the things I'd done with them whilst I was on maternity leave). She kept to their routine, fed them the food I wanted them to have - it was just brilliant. She'd come to the house early in the morning (no need to get the children dressed etc). Obviously there were times when there was a need to bite my tongue but we have that kind of relationship anyway.

I think its great for your children and for you, so if she's willing to do it, give it a try. Just stress there is no pressure to agree, or to continuing indefinitely if it doesn't pan out as you expect.

Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Wed 23-Jan-13 12:31:25

Thanks for all the comments, plenty to think about.

Mandy, thanks for posting, v interested n your arrangement, how did you decide on the hotel thing? Was that your idea or your mums?!

Mandy21 Wed 23-Jan-13 22:32:28

Sorry, only just seen your reply OP. It was the fact that we'd had a bit of a difficult time before I went back to work - the twins had been very premature (and spent 2 months in Special Care) and then my H was seriously ill. She was desperate to help us out but thought we needed our own space. I think she wanted to be able to have her own space too. Like I said, the hotel was 5 mins walk away and she negotiated a business rate / regular customer rate which was about £40 a night I think. She used to pay for the hotel, petrol, all the baby classes etc she'd been to each month, and then we'd pay her back for all of it at the end of the month. She stayed 2 or 3 nights a week in the hotel - occasionally she'd stay with us, but it worked out really well.

Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Thu 24-Jan-13 19:29:54

Thanks a lot Mandy, sounds great. Glad it worked out so well for you. Your thoughts on the pros and cons sound similar to mine.

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